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Girl Scouts can start earning cybersecurity badges in fall 2018

Young members will learn about data privacy, cyberbullying and how to protect themselves online.
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Girl Scouts of the United States of America

If your office in the future dodges a spearphishing attempt in the future, you might be thanking a Girl Scout. The organization partnered with Palo Alto Networks to release 18 new cybersecurity badges for members to earn over the next two years, with the first slated to come out in September 2018.

They won't just be about minimizing hacking vectors: Younger Scouts will also learn about data privacy, cyberbullying and how to protect themselves online. Badges for older ones will focus on developing coding skills, learning about white hat hacking and creating firewalls. While preventative training has been erratically present in Scouting for some time -- the Boy Scouts, for example, have had the Cyber Chip youth internet safety certification since 2012 -- the Girl Scouts' new set of badges looks to span a respectable breadth of online issues and opportunities.

If you're surprised the Girl Scouts have a new badge teaching important tech literacy, you haven't been paying attention. Back in 2011, the organization added ones for Computer Expert and Digital Movie Maker followed by an attempt in 2013 to introduce one for video games. Following the release of a badge dedicated to nurturing science, technology, engineering and math interests in 2015, the Girl Scouts partnered with Netflix last October to encourage young members to pursue STEM careers.

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